After more than a year as acting police chief and 27 years on the force, Scott Benton earlier this month officially became the head of the town’s police force. “I’m fortunate to have grown up here. If you had asked me when I graduated [from Whitman-Hanson Regional High School] in 1982 whether I would ever have this job, I would have laughed,” said Benton, a Whitman native who with his wife, Kathie, has four children. “Whitman is a great community. We have a great Police Department made up of dedicated men and women. I consider myself fortunate to be leading the department.” Benton was named acting chief in June 2012, after Police Chief Christine May-Stafford asked to be demoted to lieutenant so she could spend more time with her family. Benton said he admires her for her personal convictions and said it is an asset to have a former chief working with him. Selectmen also recently appointed Whitman Sergeant Timothy Hanlon, a 12-year veteran of the force, as deputy chief.